Money on the Move: March 9-15

The companies that got money this week were the ones investing in ambitious, future-looking technologies, such as RNA genomics, biochips and antibody-drug conjugates.

The companies that got money this week were the ones investing in ambitious, future-looking technologies, such as RNA genomics, biochips and antibody-drug conjugates.

Eclipse Bio

Eclipse Bioinnovations secured an oversubscribed $14 million Series A financing. The financing, led by Alexandria Venture Investments, iGlobe, Photon Venture Alpha and Phoenix Venture Partners, will mostly go toward the expansion of Eclipsebio’s suite of RNA genomics products. Eclipse Bio has recently developed a comprehensive RNA genomics platform to build RNA maps, which will help the company make RNA therapeutics. Earlier this year, Eclipsebio relocated into an 18,000-square-foot facility in Sorrento Valley to support R&D, and the new funding will help the company fulfill the facility’s purposes.

Institute for Molecular Medicine

The Institute for Molecular Medicine (IMM), an Orange County, California-based nonprofit, won a $12 million grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The grant will support clinical trials of IMM’s beta-amyloid DNA-based vaccines to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. With this funding, IMM plans to start a Phase I clinical trial of the vaccine in Q2 2022. If the vaccine is successful, nonprofit IMM has licensed the vaccines exclusively to Nuravax, which will help develop and commercialize the products.


In a Series B financing round, China-based Medilink scooped up $70 million to support its new-generation antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) pipeline and other novel conjugated drugs. The round of funding was led by LYFE Capital, Qiming Venture Partners, Legend Capital, Loyal Valley Capital and Highlight Capital. MediLink has already invented and patented several ADC linker-payload technologies, one of which is entering a Phase I clinical trial this year. Nature Reviews estimated that by 2026, global sales for ADC products will top $16.4 billion, so MediLink is ahead of the curve.

Nutcracker Therapeutics

California-based Nutcracker Therapeutics closed a Series C financing worth $167 million, led by ARCH Venture Partners. Nutcracker, a biotech company that develops RNA therapeutics using a biochip-based manufacturing platform, will use the financing to expand its pipeline of mRNA treatments for cancer and to improve its RNA manufacturing platform. Nutcracker’s unique manufacturing process uses biochips to make a fully automated and isolated manufacturing pathway for RNA products, a process that could help manufacture RNA products on a large scale.

Molecular Assemblies

DNA-synthesizing biotech company Molecular Assemblies gathered $25.8 million in Series B financing. In addition to previous investors, Casdin Capital joined the group of financial supporters. The funding will go toward Molecular Assemblies’ proprietary enzymatic DNA synthesis technology. The company hopes to commercialize the product and start a customer program later this year.

“It’s great to see the continued support and excitement of our investors as we advance our powerful, differentiated, and proprietary Fully Enzymatic Synthesis technology to commercial access and enable the cost-effective production of ever-lengthening strands of DNA,” said Michael J. Kamdar, president and CEO of Molecular Assemblies. 

Scenic Biotech

Scenic Biotech, a European startup that identifies genetic modifiers for rare diseases and cancers, earned €28 million ($31 million USD) in a Series A round of funding led by Eir Ventures, BioMedPartners and Vesalius Biocapital. Scenic’s flagship product, the Cell-Seq genetic modifier target discovery platform, will absorb most of the funding, and the rest will go toward increasing company headcount over the next 1.5 years.

RefleXion Medical

In a risky move, privately-held RefleXion Medical closed an $80 million equity financing to support its biology-guided radiotherapy treatments for cancer. RefleXion’s investors include Pfizer Ventures, Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Ascension Ventures. After getting a Breakthrough Device Designation from the FDA in 2020, the company made a goal to scale its radiotherapy, and equity financing was apparently the best route to fund the growth.


In a round of funding led by giant Blackstone, Inc., DNAnexus, Inc. secured $200 million to grow its biomedical data analysis software. It takes 200 gigabytes of data to sequence a single human genome, so DNAnexus is expanding its high-velocity computing to keep biomedical data compliant, secure, and standardized.

Currently, the platform has more than 12,000 users, including an exclusive partnership with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the funding will help expand the platform to even more users.

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